Practices to Help Your Home-Based Business Startup
By Amy Collett
Launching a home-based online business can allow you to focus on the work you love, be your own boss, and achieve a healthy work-life balance. Getting started requires a few key steps like drafting business and marketing plans, which will help you chart your start-up course; formalizing your business structure; and reaching out and attracting your first clients. Part of the process should also include developing brand collateral, building a website and creating a social media strategy that will help you sell more online.
For more tips on how to get things going, check out the guide presented below by The Shinabarger Team.
Making It Official
If you haven’t already opened a business bank account and developed a company website and email address, now is the time to do it. Depending on the type of business you’re running, you may need certain types of business licensing, home-use permits, or insurance.
You also may want to establish yourself as an LLC to protect against some types of liability, give yourself flexibility, and have an easier time when you file your taxes. You can hire an attorney to draw up and file the certificate of formation on your behalf, spend time doing the legwork yourself, or utilize a formation services company, to ease the process.
Outfitting your home-based office is important to your overall organization and operational strategy. Secure a quiet, dedicated space away from household traffic and ambient noise to set up a workspace, cabinetry, a whiteboard, and your computing equipment.
According to Wired, you may also find it useful to have a printer and scanner, room for storage, a good task chair, and task lighting, along with basic office supplies. Dress up your space if you like—artwork and plants can help create a pleasant environment. If you’ll be seeing clients on-site, an extra chair and small table can also be useful. If you find yourself sitting a great deal, you might also opt for a convertible standing desk.
You’ll also need certain software to help your business run smoothly and efficiently. For example, QuickBooks helps you speed up invoicing and expense tracking by allowing you to import and send invoices with batch processing. When you incorporate helpful software into how you run your business, you save time that you can spend helping it grow.
Working as a Consultant
Many home-based business owners work as consultants in their field of expertise. If this is your path, you’ll want to ensure you have the skills necessary to be effective. This includes having the ability to explain processes and concepts in terms both beginners and advanced participants can understand, and having exceptional verbal and written communication skills. If you lack confidence in your skills, think about returning to school for some additional training. For instance, if you’re in the medical field, web based medical coding courses can give you additional insights on costs and services that you can apply to your business.
You’ll also want to have a standard contractual agreement you use when securing clients. This will ensure you formalize all of your terms related to services, interaction with the client’s staff or customers, length of the contract, and payment agreement. When you’re just getting started, price yourself competitively.
Attracting Your First Clients
Many home-based business owners get started with customer cultivation by reaching out to friends, family, and former colleagues for leads and referrals. Once you have a few success stories under your belt, you can then ask those happy customers for testimonials and referrals.
According to Tony Robbins, network marketing is all about building personal relationships. Look for leads through industry associations, like chambers of commerce, and online and in-person networking groups. You might also step up your social media presence so you can connect to others in your field. Advertising in targeted forums can also be a way to draw attention to your business, as can writing blogs or editorials that you publish on your own, or submit to industry websites.
For The Shinabarger Team, the key to our success is passion. We bring it every day and to everything we do. If you’re selling or buying you’ll find our energy contagious. Call (509) 947-8076.